The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, and the unemployment rate fell sharply to 4.6% from 4.9% in October. "The mix of November's gain was encouraging", said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at the consulting firm Capital Economics, noting that "63,000 jobs were added in professional and business services, which tend to be better paid positions". While that's the lowest since April 2008, it compares with 8.4% in November 2007, the month before the last recession began.
And if we look at the trend over the year, we see that wages have risen by 2.5 percent.
Many people are able still complaining that they aren't paid well enough and many people are underemployed.
Janet Yellen last month indicated the Fed could raise interest rates "relatively soon", adding that the United States economy was "making very good progress".
The release of information comes before the December 13 meeting of the Federal Reserve in which the bank is expected to announce an interest rate increase, its first in a year. The participation rate factors in those who have suffered long-term joblessness, unlike the employment rate. The unemployment rate hit a nine-year low of 4.6 percent, though mainly because many people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed.
Temporary work also increased again, and has added over 55,000 jobs in the past three months, but could be a sign companies are having trouble filling positions.
The American economy added 178,000 new jobs last month, 90,000 of which were needed to keep up with population growth. The jobs report from the Labor Department was in line with monthly averages for the year. While the seasonally-adjusted figures show a gain of 9,000 full-time and 118,000 part-time jobs, non-adjusted data shows a 628,000 drop in full-time employment in November, offset by 678,000 part-time jobs, mostly in retail.
November's job growth was right about average for 2016.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected US employers to create 180,000 new jobs last month - roughly in line with the average number added in the first 11 months of the year.
The news about the job market was tempered by a decline in average hourly pay - a decline of 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $25.89, after an 11-cent increase in October.
The average duration of unemployment continues to fall; it stands at 26.3 weeks, though that figure remains well above pre-crisis levels.
While a surge in U.S. government bond yields and a rally in the dollar in the wake of Donald Trump's election as the next president had tightened financial market conditions, economists said it was probably insufficient for the Fed to stand pat.
Americans bought homes in October at the fastest pace in almost a decade and their willingness to make such a major purchase reflects growing optimism.
"It appears that, this season, consumers do have extra spending money in their pockets, and they are buying", said Lewis.